Shimla municipal wards’ delimitation was in public interest: Ex-minister

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh former minister Suresh Bhardwaj on Wednesday lambasted the government for overturning the previous BJP government’s decision to delimit Shimla Municipal Corporation’s wards.

He said the wards were delimited to ensure even development but the present government’s decision is politically motivated, ignoring the public interest.

In a press statement, Bhardwaj said the government has promulgated an ordinance to overturn the previous decision to enhance municipal wards from 34 to 41.

“The government changed the decision to reap political gains but did injustice to the people of Shimla,” he said.

Bhardwaj said the previous government passed an Act in the assembly to enhance the number of wards. The current Chief Minister and some of the ministers participated in the debate. “We took the Vidhan Sabha route and faced a debate to enhance the number of wards, while the present government adopted the ordinance route to avoid discussion.”

The former Urban Development Minister and legislator of Shimla said the Congress government in 2017 doubled the municipal ward falling in the Kasumpati assembly segment from six to 12 and wards in Shimla rural from two to four for political benefit.

But the government did not delimit wards of the Shimla urban assembly segments.

“Last year, wards falling within the Shimla urban assembly segment limits were delimited keeping population (2011 census) imbalance in mind. There were a few wards with a population of around 5,000- 6,000. Only such wards were delimited,a he explained.

Bhardwaj said the Congress party delimited wards in 2017 for political gains but the previous government followed the rules. Wards were delimited to ensure the smooth functioning of the municipality.

“Even population in municipal wards would have resulted in even development,” he said, adding that, “Our decision was in the public interest, while the government on Tuesday decided for political gains ignoring the benefit of the people of Shimla.”

He asked the government to delimit municipal wards to ensure an even population balance. “This is what the Act says,” he added.

The former minister said the previous BJP government followed the “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas” motto and carried out development activities across entire wards of Shimla.

–IANS

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